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Terry McAuliffe on "The cost of an incoherent energy policy"

Terry McAuliffe, a cleantech leader ("founder and chairman of GreenTech Automotive and a partner with Franklin Pellets") in addition to his political activities, has written a strong op-ed in support of clean energy and a "coherent national energy policy." Here's an excerpt that focuses on McAuliffe's state of Virginia, but could apply just about anywhere.

Natural Gas "Fracker" Evaluates Own Operations For Important EPA Study, Concludes that All Is Well

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently in the midst of conducting an important, potentially decisive study on the safety of natural gas "fracking" in the United States. When completed, this study is likely to play a major role in determining the future course of federal policy with regard to this entire natural gas "fracking" industry. In a paper outlining its plan for the study, EPA provides important context and background:

Grist: Clean Energy "Inexpensive, reliable, and inexhaustible"

The other day, we wrote about a new study by Synapse Energy Economics, Inc., which found that cranking up wind power transmission capacity in the Midwest would save customers billions of dollars a year.  We thought this was an intriguing study, and apparently so did others. For instance, over at Grist, Bill White, who manages the National Clean Energy Transmission Initiative for the Energy Future Coalition, gives us his take:

NY Times: Renewable Energy Faring Well in States, Not So Well in Congress

The Sunday New York Times has an excellent editorial which we encourage everyone to read. The main points are as follows:

New Report Finds U.S. Clean Energy Leadership in Serious Jeopardy Due to Congress' Failure

A new report,  Fire Sale: The End of American Ownership of Clean Energy, warns that Congress' failure to invest adequately in US clean energy,  "at a time when clean energy is growing like gangbusters around the world,"  is a huge mistake. Among other problems, this lack of investment is "starving American companies of capital and the ability to complete domestic projects." As a result, the United States is now "losing this race" to countries like China, Germany, the United Kingdom, Brazil, India, even oil-rich Saudi Arabia -- all of which are investing heavily in clean energy. A few more points made in the study include:

New Poll: Americans Strongly Support Clean Energy, Want Fracking Regulations Increased

According to a new poll by National Journal, "[a] large majority of Americans support a pair of congressional efforts to create an economy based on cleaner-energy sources."

New Study: Cranking Up Midwest Wind Transmission Capacity Would Save Customers Billions of Dollars

A new study by Synapse Energy Economics, Inc. evaluates "the overall rate impacts of adding new increments of transmission and new increments of wind to the [Midwest ISO] system." Here are a few of the key findings:

"Dirty Energy Money Buys Yet Another Keystone Vote"

On Friday, The Hill reported on the U.S. House of Representatives voting 261-152 "to insist that lawmakers negotiating a bicameral transportation programs funding bill include approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline." Who voted yes and who voted no regarding this major item on Big Oil's wishlist?  Oil Change International looks into it, and what it finds is as unsurprising as it is unappealing:

Renewable Portfolio Standard Helps Fuel Texas Wind, Solar Power Growth

CleanTechnica reports that "Texas saw a 13 percent increase in the amount of energy generated by renewable sources in 2011," with 31.7 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable energy...recorded by the state’s renewable energy credit program, up from 28 million MWh in 2010."  What is causing this rapid growth?

ACEEE: "Opportunity Knocks" in Energy Inefficient States

Yesterday, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy released a new report entitled, "Opportunity Knocks: Examining Low-Ranking States in Energy Efficiency."  The bottom line of the study is as follows:

Grist: "Obscure-but-awesome energy law getting shivved by natural gas lobby"

Does this sounds like an "awesome" energy law to you, as it does to Grist's David Roberts and as it does to us?

Possible Grid-Scale Liquid Metal Battery Breakthrough?

I'm always skeptical when I read a story about a promising new technology that might change the world, and this story on Treehugger, "Grid-Scale Metal Liquid Batteries Could Revolutionize Renewable Energy Use," is not necessarily an exception. Still, it's intriguing to think about the enormous possibilities if this were to come to pass.

Yale Survey: Almost Nobody Trusts Fossil Fuel Companies for Global Warming Information

The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication just released their latest national survey results on "Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes," and a couple of the results jumped out at us.

Expert Webinar: Clean Energy Trends Are Looking Up!

Last week, I participated in an informative webinar by REMI and Clean Edge, Inc. on their State Clean Energy Leadership Index and Clean Energy Trends 2012 reports. Here are a few of the key points:

Poll: Small Business Owners Strongly Support Clean Energy

A new poll, by Small Business Majority, provides strong evidence that support for clean energy in this country is both broad and deep. The bottom line findings from small business owners in six states (Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia) are as follows:

Washington Post: India's Solar Industry "finally taking off"

According to an article in this morning's Washington Post, India's solar power industry is "finally taking off," although "massive hurdles must be overcome before it can make a meaningful contribution to the country’s rapidly growing power needs, experts and business leaders say." Here's an excerpt (bolding added for emphasis):

NY Times: "An Effort to Bury a Throwaway Culture One Repair at a Time"

The Dutch have a great idea here: fixing ordinary consumer goods so you don't have to throw them away.

AP: Wyoming "got EPA to delay frack finding"

If natural gas "fracking" is so safe, as the industry claims, then why is this necessary at all?

Another Day, Another Major Scandal in the Fossil Fuel Industry

Yesterday, Reuters reported that Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon "also ran a lucrative business on the side: a $200 million hedge fund that traded in the same commodities Chesapeake produces."   Today we have yet another case of highly questionable, if not potentially criminal, wrongdoing in the fossil fuel industry.

Plan to "eliminate the upfront cost of energy improvements" moves ahead in California

Forbes reports on an innovative program in California that "would eliminate the upfront cost of energy improvements."

"Clean Energy Coalition's impact is starting to ripple across Michigan"

A story from the Detroit Free Press is well worth highlighting, in our opinion: